So I have been working on this for a bit now. On and off, This is just the prolog but I could really use some input on how it reads and all. Much appreciated. Thanks. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prolog Let me tell you a story. You can choose to believe it, or not. But what I tell you is true, there are things that walk with us in plain sight. Creatures that you thought didn’t exist, beings from fairy tales and nightmares. When I learned about it, that it was real, I was pregnant with my first child. I was attacked and survived, and it changed my life forever. Who knew one little accident could change the world? That it would change the lives and views of so many. That many who believed that certain things didn’t exists would find out they were wrong. That it would ripple out and effect more than initially involved. “It’s cold tonight,” Beth says to herself as the night air bites at her lungs. The nights had been getting colder and colder. So much more noticeable since she had gotten back. To go from one extreme environment to another, seems to do a number on one’s system. Good thing she was adaptable. Turning on the golf cart she makes her usual outside rounds. A few years ago, she was being sand blasted and baked in the Iraqi sun. Now she was being frozen. Good thing she was adaptable. With a sigh, she pushed those memories away as she opens the gate to the sculpture garden. Hopefully later on it will feel a little warmer, chuckling she shakes her head. “Wouldn’t hold my breath on that.” Driving thru she closes it behind her. Beth drove around the sculpture parks twisting foot paths. Using the wand, she presses it on the little silver contact disks. The wand vibrated when they connect. Warming up at the farm house she makes her way to the maintenance building. One more time tonight then I can stay warm, more or less. Michigan was not her favorite state to live in, she hated the winters and their winters sucked. When the air gets so cold they see the northern lights. On occasion sudden white outs happen causing massive car pile up on the highways. Let alone the first snow fall, everyone seems to forget how to drive in the white shit. Her car didn’t like the cold all the much either. It took forever to get the frost off the windows. By the time she could see out the front windows is when she was pulling in the driveway. Usually she gets just enough off to see through and prays no cops see her. Night shift sucks plan and simple. Breathing into her hands to keep them warm she drives the enclosed golf cart back to the main building. Through the café’s kitchen, across the atrium she takes the stairs down to the lower level. Past the very tempting vending machines, she walks into the security office with its rows of monitors. It was decent size office with all the security items they use plus a small fridge and microwave. “Cold out there?” Scoffing she looks at the other security guard she replies, “Yeah surprised to not to have frost bite. So damn cold out there.” The other guard nods as he finishes his food, while she takes her coat off and puts it on the back of her chair. Sitting down she looks at the row of monitors with a sigh. The job was boring, but she got to read and at lest she wasn’t there by herself like in the other site. She had to just keep reminding herself that it paid better then flipping burgers and less painful too. Sighing again she leans back in her chair. For her final rounds that night she drives the golf cart around the sculpture park, still wishing for warmth. The last few hours of her shift seemed to drag painfully slow. The little peanut she was carrying was reminding her that he or she was still there and they didn’t like the cold. She guides another foot out of her ribs for the countless time that night. There are days she feels so sorry for ever doing the things her child is doing to her that she did to her mother. With a wince and a groan. “Nope doesn’t belong there little one.” The other foot decides to take a turn on the other side. Inside the main building there are a lot of sculptures and the botanical exhibits to see and there was blessed heat. Soon very soon she would get to do that route, she sighs in anticipation. Rounding a bend on the trail outside, she spots a few of the deer that roam around the gardens, too stupid to hole up someplace warm. To complete her route for the night she rounds the bend to hit one of the metal disks with the wand that would flash a little red light and vibrate in her hand. She looks out into the small patch of woods and she sees movement and figures it is another group of deer. Sticking her arm out of the window to touch the wand to the disk she hears a sharp angry growl from a large dog that creeps out from under the trees. In shock, she didn’t know what to do first, scream or pull her arm back in, as the fear began to stiffen her limbs. Its eyes shining gold in the over head light, its fur a grey with hints of black and white. A brown strip runs from its nose to right between its golden eyes. Fangs white in the glow of the street light that shone from above them. To slow to pull her arm back into the cart the dog latches onto it. Large canine teeth rip through coat, shirt and into flesh to grind on bone as she screams in pain. Time seems to slow as she is attacked; she hits the dog in the head right between the eyes with the wand figuring the long cylinder of metal will hurt there the most. At least that was what she hoped as the dog dug its teeth deeper and deeper as if daring her to hit it again. Growling as it presses down tighter and tighter. She could feel each tooth digging deep into her flesh as intense pain explodes up her arm. As the creature pulls at her she grabs onto the wheel and tries to pull herself back. It was far stronger then her and she was worried it would take her arm off if they continued their game of tug-o-war with her arm as the rope. She constantly hits into the door with her head and shoulder as if by getting her out of the golf cart it would attack more than just her arm. She knew that if the creature was able to get her out there would not be found for hours later. Looking into its eyes she knew it meant to kill her. She didn’t know what she was going to do if it continued. Cracks began to form in the half an inch plexiglass window of the cart with each hit. She knew she had to stay within the small confines of the golf cart not only for her life but for her unborn child that was kicking up a storm within her. With the shaking that was going on the baby lets her know that it didn’t like what was going on. She tried to keep from panicking as they pull back and forth. Staying calm and having a clear head would be the best thing for her. Thanks to the military she was able to think while the dog shook her arm causing her to repeatedly hit into the door. The dog suddenly let’s go of her arm as if tired by the effort or realizing that she was not an easy a target as it originally thought she was. The large beast dashes back into the undergrowth of the winter woods. Beth wonders if the dog was going for an easier target, as she tries to get the golf cart moving. In the back of her mind she hopes it won’t be human. Using the calm or shock, she calmly wraps her arm up with the tatters of her coat. She radios for the other guard to call animal control and tells him that she was attacked by a vicious dog. She tells him to check the tapes and see if they caught anything on them. Driving one handed, she moves the cart as quickly as it could back to the main building. Groping for the latch she curses from the pain and the latch, she cradles her arm against her body. Elevating her arm, she tries to slow the flow of blood as she stops at the door leading into the kitchens and to the main part of the building. The other guard is there to meet her as the animal control officer pulls up. “She wants to know if you want an ambulance.” He looks at the blood-stained coat sleeve while he holds a cell phone to his ear. She, he must be refereeing to Carrie. “No tell her to get someone here to replace me and I will drive over there myself I’m not hurt enough to need it. Besides they will want to keep me there to make sure the animal doesn’t have rabies.” She turns to the animal control and tells him where it is she even takes him into the security office and they play back the tape for him and show him where she was attacked. Thankfully the attack was in view of one of the cameras. From the images on the screen she begins to wonder if she was right to call the creature that attacked her, a dog. She noted the difference in body and size then most other dogs. She waits as the other guard and the animal control go off in the spare cart to where she was attacked it wasn’t likely that they will find the animal figuring it will be long gone by now. Making a quick call home to inform her husband on what happened. “Yes, don’t worry I’m fine… No, you don’t need to.” She sighs as her husband goes off and tells her his reasons for why he should come down. Rolling her eyes as she watches the surveillance monitors, as the cart rolls onto the screen. “Alright…alright fine I’ll see you when you get there… Oh and Ian please don’t drive like a raging idiot please. I don’t need to see you being wheel in by ambulance.” She knew he would still drive like an idiot. With him being accident prone with vehicles it is a wonder he still has his license. She gathers her things and tells her replacement who walks in that she will be back after she gets out of the hospital to write up an incident report then heads to her car. In all the hustle and bustle they never got to wrap up her arm before she left. Grabbing her things, she heads up the stairs and out of the Gardens, she tries not to drip on the floor using her tattered coat as a sort of makeshift bandage. She still saw a small trail of blood drops on the tiled floor. She cringes knowing the cleaning crew will have to clean it up. At the hospital, they rush her through passing all the people who were waiting to be seen and into the emergency room. While a nurse wheels in a computer to take down her information, they begin peeling the layers off to get to her arm. The nurses wince at the wound, the skin torn up looking like badly butchered meat. She looks to the nurse with the computer when she asks her name. “Elizabeth Ann Sienna.” She gives the nurse her address and all the rest of the information, as her husband Ian walks through the curtains. She knew by the look on his face he drove like an idiot, she shakes her head. His face was flushed as if he ran all the way down from the house instead of driven; he tries to catch his breath. “Are you ok? How’s the baby?” The baby, since she had gotten back to the office; she never once had the need to worry about the baby. She wondered if that would make her a terrible mother for not thinking about the baby sooner. He puts a hand protectively over her belly trying to feel any flutter of movement from the child within. “As far as I know they baby is fine hunny take a deep breath. I just got here a few minutes ago, so you didn’t miss anything.” He looks at her arm and winces. “God that looks awful.” Yeah and she felt awful too the pain was just to the side of bearable unless it gets touched. Then the pain lances up her arm. The nurses move around them, cleaning the wound. The doctor comes in and looks at the cleaned wound. “What kind of dog was it?” She shrugs and shakes her head. “I don’t know was kinda dark where I was so I didn’t get a good look at it. It was huge thought.” She looks to Ian. “It was a little bigger then Phantom.” The doctor looks at Ian and asks, “Phantom?” “Yeah, my dog that lives with my parents, he’s a mutt. We have been told he is an Akita and something else.” He knew what the other half of Phantom was but being that the dog was illegal he didn’t want to say for fear they would take the dog away. She sighs and nods. “If I know any better Id’s say it was a wolf but one in the gardens let alone this close to the city it’s unheard of let alone when the last one was seen around here must have been many years ago.” “Well whatever it was tore your arms up good so you will need stitches and since you’re pregnant we should do an ultra sound just to make sure everything is alright there. How far along are you?” Thinking she looks at Ian then to the doctor. “About seven months.” He nods. “I’ll order one up for you once they close up the wound.” They nod and he leaves, with a sigh they both look at each other in worry. Ian leans down and kisses her forehead. Elizabeth sees the worry in his eyes. “No worries hun, if the baby is anything like you, it is very resilient.” She gets a week smiles out of him. The nurse comes in carrying a tray with all a few needles full of saline and packages of needles and threads to close up her ravaged arm. Elizabeth goes a little pale, never liking needle she looks away as Ian slips his hand into hers. Wrapping his arm around her neck she buries her face into his chest as she feels the prick of the syringe needle that will inject a local numbing agent into her arm. Her arms start to grow numb and in no time, the nurse, with the help of another get to work to get the wound closed. An hour later the nurse finishes closing the last wound, there where spots where she could not pull the skin closed so there were gaps in the skin. Elizabeth knew she would bear a few scars from this encounter on her skin and within herself. A nurse wraps a large gauze pad on the wound then wraps it up to keep it there and clean. “A nurse will be by to take you to get your ultra sound.” Elizabeth nods and sighs as she pulls her face away from Ian’s shirt. A few minutes later a nurse wheels a chair in and Elizabeth slides off the bed and into it. She cradles her arm against her bulging belly and chest as the wheel her down the hallway and into a dimly lit room. The technician asked if she had a full bladder, nodding the tech checks the placenta before letting her go. She was surprised to realize she had missed such a basic need she wondered if the attack could have caused it. Maybe she was in shock? Once that was done Elizabeth was recoated with the warm gel as they get their first look at the baby. She was supposed to have gone later in the week to get the ultrasound done but with the attack it was moved up. Pride and joy welled up within her as she sees the black and white picture form on the screen. The tech says the baby looked fine and she takes measurements since none were taken yet. The baby unfortunately didn’t want to give up the secret of what he or she was, as the baby kept its foot over what they wanted to see. “The baby is definitely yours hun. The baby is stubborn enough not to be let us know so our families will stop asking.” He nods and kisses her forehead. Leaning back, he looks at her and sees spots of blood on her. “You have blood spots on your face.” He rubs at one on her cheek trying to get it off. She looks at him with a dry look. “How about I get it before you rub my face off cause for all you know it could be a freckle.” Sliding off the bed when the tech was done she takes the offered paper towels and cleans up the gel on her belly and the blood on her face. They wheel her back to the emergency room feeling silly knowing that she could perfectly walk there. Well more like waddle there. The tech had handed Ian some pictures of the baby while she was in the bathroom and he give them to Beth for her to look at. Getting the final check from the doctor the head home leaving her car at the hospital knowing they can pick it up later. Days pass the wounds heal remarkably quickly with little scaring. They did get a call from the hospital about her blood work they didn’t find anything like rabies in it but they did find some kind of anomaly in it but nothing for her to be concerned about or at least that is what they wanted her to believe.